Summer is a time for cookouts, lazy swims, and yummy treats like ice cream. But those same things can also do damage to your smile. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your summer, but there are a few simple things you can do – or not do – to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Here are just a few to keep in mind as you begin planning your summer activities.
So you’ve decided to have a cookout on the beach and realized you forgot the bottle opener. Or a bag isn’t ripping open the way it should. It’s tempting to use your teeth to pop that bottle open or get that bag to relent, but this is horrible for your teeth and gums. Use the right tools for the job, even if it means finding a store to buy what you need. Your teeth will appreciate it – especially without the chips and cracks that can happen from using them as tools.
Beyond this, keep in mind that falls are more common in the summer as well. Bikes, scooters, skateboards, slippery pool decks, and more all contribute to falling. If you fall and hit your face, you can chip or break a tooth (or even knock it out completely). Wear helmets during your summer activities and pay attention to your surroundings to avoid falls.
Finally, as tempting as it may be at the end of a summer day to skip your oral hygiene routine to fall into bed, do it anyway. Keeping up with your usual oral hygiene habits will help protect your teeth from all the dangers they face during the warm months.
Corn on the cob, sports drinks, alcoholic beverages, lemonade, candy, and other sugary treats are all staples of the summertime diet. Keep in mind it’s fine to indulge in them in moderation! But it’s also easy to slip into eating and drinking too many of these tasty treats. Unfortunately, those treats are as unfriendly to your teeth as they are delicious.
Some of these foods soften tooth enamel, like sugary sodas. You might be tempted to brush your teeth immediately after consuming these, thinking that by removing the sugar, you lessen the damage. But, brushing while your enamel is soft will actually cause damage. Wait an hour or so before brushing your teeth after sugary indulgences – and make sure to rinse with some water afterward to lessen exposure.
Other foods, like corn on the cob, can injure your teeth. Removing the corn from the cob or taking the bone out of meats, can decrease the chances of injury. Keep floss on hand to remove bothersome bits of food if you can’t brush.
Tiny amounts of chlorine are often found in public drinking water supplies, so many people assume that pool water won’t hurt your teeth. But there is quite a bit more chlorine in your pool than in your drinking water. As you splash and play in the water, some of it occasionally gets in your mouth. When it does, it can break down the proteins in your saliva, causing brownish stains on your teeth. Good oral hygiene, regular cleanings, and fluoride treatments can help prevent and reverse this damage. Keeping the pool’s pH balance in check can also help with this.
Whether you want to get a cleaning before vacation or you have a dental emergency, give us a call at Ikon Dental Group to schedule your appointment with Dr. Khan.